Head to Head: The Defenses

With two great offenses, these defenses could be in trouble.

James LeBeauby James LeBeau

Make no mistake about it, football fans, this isn't going to be the 2007 Giants-Patriots game, not by a longshot.

What was a defensive struggle back then is looking more and more like it's going to be a high scoring affair this time around. With both the Patriots and the Giants sporting defenses that rank in the bottom third of the league and with both so offensively capable, both defenses are going to be hard pressed to stop anything this upcoming Sunday.

There is a silver lining for Giants fans and their defense, however, in that is doesn't look like Patriots phenom tight end Rob Gronkowski is going to be anywhere near 100% and without his ability to stretch the field and create mismatches, New England is going to be hard pressed to match the scoring output they have been doing all season. With Gronk limited, it's opens up the game plan a bit for the Giants defense, allowing them to try to put more pressure on Tom Brady which will hopefully lead to at the very least, stops.

On the New England side of the defensive ball, they may be fielding the worse defense ever to be seen in the big game. Considering some of the teams that have made it this far, that's not an accomplishment I'd want on my resume and it's not one that traditionally will lead to success. In fact, of the 45 SuperBowl winners 11 ranked first in yards allowed, five ranked second and six ranked third. Thirty-eight defenses, or 84 percent, ranked among the top 10.

Here's how a personnel man with more than 25 years of experience working for National Football League clubs sees this Patriots defense.

"New England has got to be the least talented team in the league on defense. They're horrible in the secondary. The Mark Andersons of the world, they're just kind of castoffs."

All in all, the Patriots are going to have to rely on their much maligned secondary to make a play or two if they want to stop this potent Giants offense and look at the facts, it may be a long day for that entire unit


The Breakdown

New York Giants: Finished the regular season ranked 26th in the league in total yardage allowed. Hasn't allowed a team to score more than 20 points since week 15.

New England Patriots: Finished the regular season ranked 31st in the league in total yards allowed, including an NFL record 4,727 passing yards. However, they did make up for the yardage a bit with 27 interceptions this season.

The Edge: New York Giants

 

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